Issue

Environment and Climate Change

Earth's average temperature has risen approximately one degree Fahrenheit in the last 50 years. By the end of this century, it will be several degrees higher, according to the latest climate research.

But global warming is doing more than simply making things a little warmer. It's changing rainfall, causing heat waves, and making sea level rise, all of which create human suffering.

Environment and Climate Change brings together reporting from Pulitzer Center grantees on the abilities of communities in diverse regions to bounce back and adapt to the impacts of climate change: One highlight includes in-depth reporting by Nathaniel Rich on the response to global warming during the 1979-1989 decade—an article that takes up the entire issue of The New York Times Magazine. Our journalists investigate climate change in the Arctic—the effects on indigenous communities, the destruction of the fragile natural environment, and the conflict between humans and polar bears. One interactive, award-winning multimedia project, "Sea Change," looks at ocean acidification, its impact on fishing, people's livelihoods, and food security. The documentary "Easy Like Water" features a solar-powered school boat in Bangladesh, where flooding may create 20 million "climate refugees" by mid-century.

Other stories covered here range from the future of the residents of Kiribati, a low-lying island nation in the Pacific, to the biological diversity of the rainforest in Peru, and the psychological effects of climate change on the inhabitants of Australia and Fiji. How does the melting Arctic ice cap affect our lives? How do overfishing and exploitation of mineral resources beneath the ocean’s surface jeopardize food sources need to sustain the planet’s ever-expanding population?

As part of the Pulitzer Center's long-term support for climate change reporting, the Rainforest Journalism Fund was established to provide capacity for local journalists operating in the rainforest regions of Latin America, Africa, and Asia, as well as international journalists reporting from those regions. The Fund represents a major investment in global environmental and climate reporting, with plans to support nearly 200 original reporting projects along with annual regional conferences designed to raise the level of reporting on global rainforest issues such as deforestation and climate change.

 

Environment and Climate Change

Big Problems for Smallest Great Lake: More Precipitation, Warmer Temperatures and Controversial Regulation Plan Upend Life Along Lake Ontario

Tom Frank was at his restaurant when a brimming Lake Ontario surged onto the back patio. Frank’s restaurant was one of many businesses and homes affected in an upstate New York town, where flooding is the most conspicuous example of how a changing climate is having a profound effect on Lake Ontario.

The Toxic Metal in the Shadow of the Gold Industry

Two commodities that are frequently taken over illegally are gold and mercury, and in the Guiana Shield region, one does not go without the other. Mercury has grave impacts on human health and the environment, but efforts so far to curtail its use in the gold industry have only pushed supply chains underground. 

Cambodia Burning

With a unique blend of drone cinematography and Cambodian poetry, this film by grantee Sean Gallagher showcases dramatic changes to Cambodia's landscapes. Deforestation and forest fires have decimated the country's primary forests and biodiversity.

The Moving Meridian

How do farmers and rural towns in the Western United States reimagine their lives and businesses as the line dividing wet from dry marches east from the 100th Meridian, bringing arid land conditions with it?

Cracking Down on Climate Migrants

Hurricane Dorian survivors in the Bahamas, deprived of legal pathways to migrate, face human rights violations, evictions and worse.

Waste in Georgia

Rising seas pose a serious threat to septic and sewer systems, putting our water at risk of contamination. This project looks at the risks and possible solutions for these problems in Coastal Georgia.

Congo's Illegal Timber

In the depths of the second-largest rainforest on the planet, an Indigenous community is waging a fight against industrial giants that are destroying their ancestral forest.

Changing Minds on Climate Science

A look at how attitudes toward climate science among coastal North Carolina residents and decision makers have evolved during the past decade as the signs of change have become increasingly visible.

Meet the Journalist: Paul A. Kramer

As the U.S. government responded to Hurricane Katrina what difference did it make that the nation was at war? In what ways were post-Katrina relief operations experienced as the war “coming home"?

Meet the Journalist: George Black

More than a billion gallons of raw sewage and industrial effluent pour into the Ganges every day. Can Prime Minister Narendra Modi clean up India's sacred river when everyone else has failed?

Meet the Journalist: Judith D. Schwartz

Environmental journalist Judith D. Schwartz travels to rural Zimbabwe to document how holistically-managed cattle revived a severely degraded landscape—in a way that has benefited wildlife and brought food security to local villagers.

Exploring Downstream: Water Resources

Through this webquest, students use several different projects on the "Downstream" web portal to examine the impact of water resources on a wide range of communities around the world.

A Right to Water for Everyone?

This is a multi-week unit on water rights and access. Students examine the causes of water shortages across the globe and explore solutions to ensure that all people have access to clean, safe...

Pulitzer Center Announces 2019 Connected Coastlines Grantees

The Pulitzer Center is pleased to announce our 2019 Connected Coastlines grantees, a consortium of newsrooms and independent journalists across the United States who are using rigorous science reporting to document and explain the local effects of climate change on U.S. coastal populations.